If the wrong medication is administered to a patient, the consequences could be significant. They could, for example, suffer an illness or serious adverse reaction. In some cases, it may be possible to make a medical negligence claim.
In this guide, we explore the process of claiming compensation for harm caused by taking the wrong medication.
We first explore how the wrong medication could be administered. We go on to discuss the criteria for making a claim, compensation payouts and how to pursue a case on a No Win No Fee basis.
If you’d rather speak with someone, however, then we’re on hand. Our legal helpline is open 24 hours a day, 7 days per week. We offer a free case check to everyone who calls and there’s no obligation to make a claim.
You can speak with us now by:
- Calling 0800 652 3087
- Or chat with us now via our live chat box, bottom corner
How Can The Wrong Medication Be Administered?
Administering the wrong medication in a healthcare setting in the UK can occur due to a variety of factors, including human error, system failures, and lack of communication.
Human error is a common cause of medication errors in healthcare settings. This could occur when a healthcare professional misreads a prescription or administers the wrong dose or medication due to fatigue, distraction, or lack of attention to detail.
Additionally, healthcare professionals may accidentally administer medication to the wrong patient if they fail to verify their identity properly.
System failures can also contribute to medication errors. For example, if medication labels or packaging are confusing or misleading, it can increase the likelihood of errors.
Similarly, if medication dispensing systems are not properly calibrated or maintained, it can result in incorrect doses being administered.
Lack of communication can also play a role in medication errors. For instance, if a patient fails to inform their healthcare provider about other medications they are taking, it can lead to drug interactions and adverse reactions. Similarly, if healthcare professionals fail to communicate effectively with each other or with patients, it can result in incorrect medications being administered.
The Criteria For Making A Wrong Medication Claim
In order to make a wrong medication claim, it’s necessary to meet a certain set of criteria. These criteria help determine whether a claim has a good chance of success or not.
Firstly, it must be demonstrated that a duty of care was owed by the healthcare professional or provider to the patient. This means that the healthcare provider had a legal obligation to provide a certain standard of care to the patient.
Secondly, it must be shown that there was a breach of this duty of care. This means that the healthcare provider failed to meet the standard of care that would be expected of a reasonable healthcare provider in the same circumstances.
Thirdly, the breach of duty must have caused harm to the patient. This means that the patient suffered some form of injury or harm as a direct result of the healthcare provider’s breach of duty.
If all of these criteria are met, the patient may have grounds for a medical negligence claim. However, it’s important to note that medical negligence claims can be complex and difficult to prove, and therefore it’s advisable to seek legal advice from a specialist medical negligence solicitor.
That’s where we can help. Our solicitors are experienced in handling medication error claims. They’ve achieved fantastic results for our clients and can support your case too.
To get legal advice on your situation or to access a case check, simply call us on the number at the top of this page.
How Long Do I Have To Claim For A Medication Error?
There are strict time limits for making a medical negligence claim in England and Wales, and it’s important to seek legal advice as soon as possible to ensure that these time limits are not missed.
In general, a patient has three years from the date of the negligent act or omission, or from the date that they became aware (or should have become aware) of the injury or harm caused by the negligence, in which to commence legal proceedings.
However, there are some exceptions to this general rule. For example, if the patient is under 18 years old at the time of the negligent act, then the three-year time limit does not begin until their 18th birthday. Similarly, if the patient lacks the mental capacity to make legal decisions, then there is no time limit for bringing a claim until they regain that capacity.
If you’re at all unsure about how long you have to make a medical negligence claim, get in touch with us today using the number at the top of this page.
How Much Compensation Could I Receive If The Wrong Medication Was Administered?
Compensation payouts in medication error claims typically fall into two categories: general damages and special damages.
General damages are intended to compensate the patient for the pain, suffering, and loss of amenity caused by the medication error.
The value of general damages awarded will depend on the severity of the harm suffered by the patient. In general, the more severe the harm, the higher the compensation award.
For example, in a case where a patient suffers significant illness and a long-term disability as a result of a medication error, the general damages payout may be in the range, roughly, of £30,000 to £50,000 (figures taken from the Judicial College Guidelines)
Special damages, on the other hand, are intended to compensate the patient for any financial losses or expenses that they have incurred as a result of the medication error.
This might include, for example, the cost of medical treatment or care, loss of earnings, or travel expenses. The value of special damages awarded will depend on the specific financial losses that the patient has incurred and will be calculated based on the evidence presented.
It’s worth noting that there is no set formula for determining compensation payouts in medication error claims. Each case will be assessed on its individual merits.
As such, it’s important to seek legal advice from a specialist medical negligence solicitor to ensure that you receive the appropriate level of compensation for the harm caused if the wrong medication was administered.
That’s where we can help. We offer a fast case check that informs you of your legal rights and options. If you’d like to make a claim if the wrong medication has been dispensed, we can help with that too. Simply call us on the number at the top of this page to learn more.
Make A No Win No Fee Medical Negligence Claim Today
No Win No Fee agreements, also known as conditional fee agreements (CFAs), can offer a number of benefits to those who are considering making a medical negligence claim.
The main benefit of a No Win No Fee agreement is that it allows patients to pursue their case without having to pay any upfront legal fees.
Under a No Win No Fee agreement, your solicitor will agree to work on your case with the understanding that they will only receive a payment if the case is successful and damages are awarded. If the case is unsuccessful, you will not have to pay any legal fees.
This can be particularly beneficial for those who may not be able to afford the upfront costs of pursuing a wrong prescription claim.
By removing the financial risk associated with pursuing a claim, No Win No Fee agreements can make it easier for patients to access justice and obtain compensation for the harm caused by medical negligence.
Another benefit of No Win No Fee agreements is that they can incentivise solicitors to work harder on behalf of their clients. Because the solicitor only gets paid if the case is successful, they have a strong incentive to work diligently and effectively to build a strong case and maximise the chances of success.
We offer all of our clients the ability to make a No Win No Fee claim. If you’d like to see if you qualify, you can speak with us today by:
- Calling 0800 652 3087
- Or chat with us now via our live chat box, bottom corner
Learn More About Wrong Prescription Claims
If you’d like to learn more about wrong prescription claims, you may find the guides below useful:
- Head here to learn how to claim compensation if the wrong medication is prescribed
- This guide informs you of your legal rights if the wrong medication has been dispensed
- This article by the NHS explains how they’re trying to reduce errors with medicines
If you need any more help and support in relation to claiming compensation if the wrong prescription has been administered, please contact us.